Monument to the Unsung, 2018 Aerated cement block & pine wood, 300x400x300cm
Monument to the Unsung
part of the Public Art Amsterdam 2018
in collaboration with Framer Framed, Amsterdam
In this work Walid Siti subverts the concept of the cliché “Monuments for the Unknown Soldier” into a “Monument to the Unsung”. The work questions the way in which males are remembered as heroes by the establishment in various forms of commemorative manifestations, whilst women often remain unrecognized and lack visibility within public space, as well as public debate.
With this work Siti offers a reconsideration of the notion ‘hero’ by creating a monument for women. The work insists on acknowledgment for the role of women within present-day society and serves as a testimony to their (often unrecognized or undeclared) strength and accomplishments.
The piece takes the shape of a pyramid, or a tent, and is comprised of approximately fifty-five blocks engraved with common Kurdish female names. The artist was born in the city of Duhok, in Iraqi-Kurdistan, a region marked by war and conflict for the past decades. Each block carries a different name, with their meanings derived from nature, like كانى (Kani), which means spring, or روناهى (Ronahi) which translates to light. It serves as a tribute to women, and more specifically, to the strength of the unobserved mothers, sisters, daughters and wives, who deal with the brunt of wars and conflicts and face trauma, displacement, loss and humiliation as a consequence.